How Can We Stabilize Christian Communities in Our Holy Land?

Much has been written recently about an increasing sense of intolerance in the Middle East.  Some fear there could be no Christian presence at all in our Holy Land if we can’t stem the emigration and violence.  How can we, in the U.S., help stabilize these communities?  Some who view the region purely through a political lens have become frustrated with the tools that are available to make change.  Are there other ways?  Find out how the Episcopal Church in Jerusalem is building peace from the ground up – and how you as an individual and a congregation can participate in this effort.  You can change lives, and you can do it now.

Join us Sunday, February 12, 2017 in the church, just after the 10 a.m. Eucharist for a conversation with Anne Lynn, President of the American Friends of the Episcopal Diocese of Jerusalem, and learn about the humanitarian work that’s bringing a glimmer or hope to a volatile region.

Anne Lynn
Anne Lynn

Anne Lynn is President of the American Friends of the Episcopal Diocese of Jerusalem, a 25 year old organization supporting the humanitarian work of the Episcopal Church in our Holy Land.   Anne has held this position since 2008.  During that time, AFEDJ has grown substantially, now raising about $2 million a year to provide quality education and compassionate healthcare to those struggling in Jordan, Syria, Lebanon, Israel and Palestine. 

AFEDJ staff and Trustees travel throughout the U.S. to make this work better understood and encourage pilgrimage.   They also visits the schools, hospitals and institutes for the disabled supported by AFEDJ donors to see firsthand the impact of donors’ gifts. 

Anne came to AFEDJ as a third career.  The first was as a marketing professional at several major New York advertising agencies, where she oversaw the strategic positioning and communication for a number of national brands in both the consumer and business sectors.

She then brought her marketing experience to the nonprofit arena through a consultancy focusing on Board development, fundraising and marketing communications.  She has served as Senior Warden of her parish and lead efforts in affordable housing and homelessness.

Ms. Lynn has an undergraduate degree in Philosophy and a Masters degree in Nonprofit management.  AFEDJ is headquartered in Darien, Connecticut where she and her husband live.  They have three grown children.

The American Friends of the Episcopal Diocese of Jerusalem helps educate children and heal the sick in the 5 countries that make up the Diocese of Jerusalem —  Israel, Palestine, Jordan, Lebanon and Syria.  As the American partner of the Episcopal Diocese of Jerusalem, AFEDJ raises funds for the humanitarian work of the Diocese which serves all regardless of ethnic, religious or economic background.

As Christians choose to leave the region or are forced out, AFEDJ works with Diocesan leadership to offer hope and a measure of stability to struggling communities.  Through education that promotes respect for differences and tolerance and compassionate healthcare available to all, the Diocese lives the Gospel in the place where it was written.  In the land where Jesus lived and taught, AFEDJ supports the Diocese of Jerusalem as it offers a bridge across religious, economic and ethnic divides.

AFEDJ educates Americans about the needs in the 14 schools, 2 full service hospitals, 5 clinics and 6 institutes for those with disabilities that are owned and operated by the Diocese of Jerusalem.  In addition, 23 parishes offer pastoral support, Christian education, summer camp and services to the elderly and needy.

In many cases, services would not be available if the Episcopal Church did not provide them.   Al Ahli Hospital in Gaza for instance, is the last full service Christian hospital in Gaza, offering high quality assessment, treatment and therapy to anyone who walks in the door.  Blind children in Zarka, Jordan would receive no education if it weren’t for Saviour School.   The Holy Land Institute for the Deaf serves the needs of refugees with mental and physical disabilities who have crossed from Syria into Jordan.  These critical services cannot fund themselves and they rely on our financial support.  Thanks to generous donors, AFEDJ sends more than $1 million a year to keep the doors open at these critical schools and hospitals.

Not everyone can visit our Holy Land, and most know it only through a political lens.  AFEDJ offers a different perspective, where each of us can connect to the descendants of the Apostles and impact the source of our faith heritage.